Dubois was kidnapped in northern Mali in April 2021. In a video message he later explained that he had been kidnapped by a jihadist group. The 48-year-old should arrive in France soon, the Elysée announced. Dubois has lived in Mali since 2015 and has worked for the daily newspaper Liberation, among other things. He was the last French hostage held by a non-state group.

Kidnappings are common in the West African country and also affect international organizations. Two Red Cross workers and a World Health Organization (WHO) doctor were recently released. Large parts of the West African crisis state are not controlled by the ruling military junta, but by jihadist militias and criminal gangs.

Last summer, the military junta pushed through the withdrawal of French soldiers who had been stationed in the country for nine years to fight jihadist militias. Some of the French soldiers were relocated to neighboring Niger.